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Our Most Inspiring Teachers

International students share stories about their favourite teachers in New Zealand.

Dr. Claire Timperly, Political Science, and Government, Victoria University

One of my favourite professors was Dr. Claire Timperly from the Political Science and Government department at Victoria University. I took her Intro to New Zealand Politics class in order to learn about the political institutions and processes in New Zealand, which I was unfamiliar with.

Not only did she offer a lot of great insight into her field, and fill us with good information on the subject, but she also brought in a number of former and current government officials and other faculty members. They were able to discuss subjects which they were better equipped to lecture us on through their recounts of first-hand experiences.

I loved hearing from current MPs, the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, and the Former Prime Minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer. Although for these lectures she did not do the teaching, she knew that encounters with government officials and other experts gave us insights and different viewpoints on the subject matter we had been discussing. It was some of the most valuable learning we got in her classroom and I really appreciated all of the exposure.

Emily Watkins is a US study abroad student studying political science, government & international relations at Victoria University in Wellington

Michael Mitchell, Ecoquest

While all the teachers I had were incredible and I miss them dearly, I would have to say that one of my field leaders, Michael Mitchell, had a lasting impact on me.

Michael guided us on a week-long research project on Hochstetter’s frogs in Maungatautari Ecological Island. We spent the rainy week hiking in and out of the park, working harder than I had ever done before. His positive attitude helped turn the challenging week into an inspirational lesson on perseverance.  

Taylor Lindsey is a US study abroad student studying at Ecoquest in Kaiaua, near Auckland

Mark Bolland, Photography, Otago Polytechnic

Being an art student and taking studio classes, I did not have many teachers during my semester in New Zealand.

The one teacher that helped me the most was Mark Bolland, one of my photography teachers. He was always so helpful whenever I had an issue figuring out my concept for a project.

Mark would give me his honest opinion on my photos and then give me constructive feedback. He would also offer suggestions to improve my practice and readings to help me explore ideas further that have since stuck in my head.

Mark has been one of the most helpful art professors I have ever had.

Samantha Ross is a US study abroad student studying fine arts with a photography major at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin


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By ENZ Kiwi Ambassadors

Updated 3 years ago

Emily Watkins (pictured), Taylor Lindsey, and Samantha Ross are all study abroad students from the United States.

Follow our Kiwi Ambassadors on Instagram: @studyinnewzealand

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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